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North Korea missile breakdown

April 2, 2009

As North Korea prepares to launch a rocket to test a “communication satellite”, we have to take notice of their arsenal, and what is in the works:

TAEPODONG: This group of rockets is the top of North Korea’s missile technology.  Pyongyang claims they are space launch vehicles (SLVs) to launch satellites for a peaceful space program. Satellite and missile technologies are interchangeable. This is what will be launched in a couple days.

_ ADVANCED TAEPODONG-2: In the process of being developed, has the potential range of about 5,000 miles, putting the U.S. West coast, Hawaii, Australia and eastern Europe within striking distance.  Very alarming

_ TAEPODONG-2: Three-stage rocket with potential range of more than 4,100 miles, putting Alaska within striking distance. South Korea says the rocket fizzled soon after takeoff in a July 2006 test. First two stages are liquid-fueled, while the third is believed to be solid-fueled. Iranian engineers are thought to have observed the 2006 launch. Cooperation with Iran has been extensive; Iran’s Safir-Omid space launch vehicle owes much to the Taepodong.  Iran’s President  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a nut job, and putting him and missile in the same sentence is unsettling to say the least.

_ TAEPODONG-1: Estimated range of 1,550 miles.   North is believed to have test-launched the missile in August 1998, calling it a Kwangmyongsong-2 satellite mounted onto a Paektusan-1 rocket. Launch shocked the world because it was well beyond North Korea’s known capability at the time.

North Korea and Iran have to be closely watched, and at the G-20 summit, this should be on top of the list of issues to discuss along with the global financial crisis.


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